COTA’s Winter Wonderland closed again tonight; new hours for rest of week

The Circuit of the America’s Winter Wonderland has been cancelled for the second night in a row due to anticipated wind and rain. All tickets will be automatically refunded.

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People skate on synthetic ice during the Winter Wonderland event at Circuit of the Americas Nov. 30. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

If the weather improves, Winter Wonderland will be open tomorrow through Saturday, and carnival rides, which previously required a fee in addition to admission, will be free. The hours have changed, too. Thursday-Saturday hours will be 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This is the first year for COTA’s Winter Wonderland, which made a big splash when it was announced in November.

The Trail of Lights closed for the season on Dec. 23; the Zilker Tree remains on display through Sunday.

COTA’s Winter Wonderland closed tonight; carnival rides free tomorrow through Saturday

If you were planning to visit Circuit of the America’s Winter Wonderland tonight, bad news: It’s been cancelled due to anticipated wind and rain. All tickets will be automatically refunded.

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People explore a light tunnel during the Winter Wonderland event at Circuit of the Americas Nov. 30. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

There’s good news, too, though. Winter Wonderland will be open tomorrow through Saturday, and carnival rides, which previously required a fee in addition to admission, will be free.

This is the first year for COTA’s Winter Wonderland, which made a big splash when it was announced in November.

The Trail of Lights closed for the season on Dec. 23; the Zilker Tree remains on display through Sunday.

You won’t believe the new holiday spectacle coming to COTA in December

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A new holiday tradition is coming to town this December, and, if we’re being honest, it sounds pretty magical.

Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, best known for playing host to the Formula 1 racing series, will this holiday season swap race cars for Santa’s sleigh during the inaugural Winter Wonderland at the Circuit.

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A map of Winter Wonderland at the Circuit. credit: COTA

According to a press release, this “magical world of holiday amusement” will incorporate a million lights and will feature the following: a tunnel of lights, a walking light trail, a petting zoo, Santa’s workshop, a human snow globe, holiday movies on the lawn and more. A skating rink, train rides, carnival rides, a hot air balloon float, camel rides and souvenir photos with Santa will also be available for an additional cost.

“Winter Wonderland at the Circuit will be a wonderful family holiday experience for Central Texas,” Circuit of the Americas Chairman Bobby Epstein said in a statement. “The Circuit’s Grand Plaza and surrounding grounds will be transformed into an immersive experience of lights, music and fun.”

The event will also feature live entertainment, food trucks, hot cocoa stands and a Bavarian Village with local vendors.

Winter Wonderland at the Circuit will be held Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-30. Hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Admission is $16; children 5 and under are free.

Circuit of the Americas is located at 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd. For more information, visit circuitoftheamericas.com/winter-wonderland.

 

 

Trail of Lights tickets are about to go on sale; here’s what you need to know

No holiday season in Austin is complete without a visit to the Trail of Lights, and if you’re eager to map out this year’s excursion, never fear — we’ve got the scoop on what to expect.

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No holiday season in Austin is complete without a visit to the Trail of Lights, and if you’re eager to map out this year’s excursion, never fear — we’ve got the scoop on what to expect.

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This is the 53rd year for the Trail of Lights celebreation. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The 53rd annual Austin Trail of Lights will be held Dec. 9-23 in Zilker Park. More than 400,000 guests are expected to visit the trail, which will feature more than 2 million lights, four light tunnels, a 90-foot Ferris wheel, 40 displays, more than 20 food trucks and two stages.

“The 2017 Trail of Lights celebrates the creativity, talents, accomplishments and generosity of Austinites,” Trail of Lights Foundation Board President Leah Davies said in a statement.

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Visiting the Trail of Lights is a holiday tradition for many Austinites. Ricardo B. Brazziell/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Just in time for the latest cold snap, here are four things to know about this year’s event.

  1. Music will take center stage. Confirmed performers include the Mother Falcon String Trio, Whiskey Shivers and DJ Mel at the Night Lights Preview Party Dec. 8 and Alan Haynes at the grand opening Dec. 9. The full music schedule will be announced in the coming weeks at austintrailoflights.org.
  2. There will be various specialty nights. They include the Zilker Tree lighting (Nov. 26); the Trail of Lights Fun Run (Dec. 2); the fifth annual UT night (Dec. 10); the annual HEROES night honoring first responders (Dec. 12); and Movie Night (Dec. 19).
  3. It’s possible to avoid the crowds. You can access the park early and receive other amenities if you purchase a Platinum Pass or a ZIP Fast Pass. Learn more here.
  4. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 8. Buy them here.

 

Learn more about this year’s Trail of Lights at austintrailoflights.org.